The European Union's funding reform programme for the 2000-2006 period and the enlargement negotiations are, not surprisingly, the priorities Germany intends to highlight when it takes over the Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers during the first six months of 1999. The start of the Presidency, on January 1, 1999, is set to coincide with the launch of the single currency in 11 Member States. Joschka Fischer, the new German Foreign Minister, stressed, when presenting his country's six-monthly work programme, on December 14 in Brussels, the importance of the Member States reaching an agreement on the medium-term financial perspective, when they meet for a special Summit in March.

The German Minister forecasts a "paralysis of EU activities" if no agreement is reached. "A solution would be all the more difficult afterwards and a failure would weigh heavily on the accession talks." During this internal-level set of negotiations, "everything has to be placed on the table", Mr Fischer said. He believes the agreement should be included in an overall package comprising the Cohesion Fund, the UK's budget rebate, the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT